If you have reason to believe that someone at the nursing home is mistreating your elderly loved one, don’t wait to get help. Our skilled attorneys can investigate to determine if you have a valid claim for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Compensation from the lawsuit can help your loved one and your family, and the lawsuit can hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions or inactions. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can to learn more about how we may be of assistance. Call (800) 985-1819 today.
What to do if you suspect abuse at your loved one’s nursing home
Please consider taking the following steps if you see any indications of abuse.
1. Make detailed notes of possible abuse
Write down anything that concerns you regarding your loved one, such as any unexplainable behaviors or injuries.
For instance, your loved one may have cuts or bruises and can’t tell you how they occurred. Or, they may be acting differently for no apparent reason. Maybe your loved one is usually talkative and happy to see you when you visit, but lately, you might notice that they’re withdrawn and irritable.
Ask your loved one if something has happened that needs to be reported. Bring your notes with you the next time you visit, and write down whether or not the situation that has you concerned is getting better or worse.
2. Gather evidence to support your suspicions
Take pictures of your loved one, and also get financial documents or medical records. This evidence could be essential to helping your Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer build a strong case.
3. Contact a nursing home ombudsman
Talk to someone with the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to report your concerns. This is an organization that advocates on behalf of nursing home residents. A representative will investigate the issue and take action to protect your loved one’s rights.
4. Consult a nursing home abuse lawyer
Speak to an Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as you can. Your attorney will also investigate your concerns, gathering the evidence needed to give your family the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Reporting abuse in Illinois
If you have any reason to believe your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately. In addition to reaching out to the ombudsman program mentioned above, you can also report suspected abuse to the Illinois Department of Public Health. You can call 800-252-4343 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Types of nursing home abuse
There are many different kinds of nursing home abuse, and they all occur far too often. The following are just a few of the more common forms of abuse.
- Physical abuse is never excusable. Slapping, pushing, unreasonable restraint, punching, or kicking an elderly nursing home resident are just a few examples.
- Nursing home staff will often subject residents to severe emotional abuse. Examples include isolation, verbal abuse, intimidation, and humiliation.
- Common forms of neglect include failing to help the resident with hygiene, failing to provide food and drink, lack of medical treatment, and more.
- Staff members sometimes intimidate a resident into providing their debit card and personal identification number (PIN). They will even go so far as to forge a resident’s name on important documents in an effort to steal money.
- Examples of sexual abuse not only include rape and assault, but also indecent exposure, unwanted fondling, and sexual harassment.
Elder abuse claims have filing deadlines. Make sure you file in time
The statute of limitations in Illinois is two years from the date the abuse occurred, or when you discovered the abuse was occurring. You must take action before the two-year mark. If you don’t, then you won’t have any legal options.
Who can file a lawsuit against a nursing home in Illinois
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act does not allow family members to take legal action against staff members. They can only file a lawsuit against the facility owner or licensee. Only the abused resident or the resident’s representative can take legal action. A representative could be a friend or family member designated as a legal guardian of the resident, or has power of attorney to act on the resident’s behalf.
An Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can tell you more.
Potential damages to claim
Damages in a nursing home abuse lawsuit are the financial losses incurred by the victim. There are two types of damages – economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are tangible losses, such as medical expenses. These include hospital bills, prescriptions, rehabilitation services, surgical procedures, and others. Attorneys can easily prove economic damages by obtaining bills.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are harder to provide because they’re subjective. It takes a skilled Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer to prove emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other intangible damages.
We’ll work to obtain maximum compensation for your loved one
The nursing home abuse attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have years of experience in cases similar to yours. We will provide the passionate representation you need – backed by solid evidence – and make those responsible for abusing your loved one pay dearly.
Common injuries to look out for
Unfortunately, physical nursing home abuse takes many forms. Your loved one may have scrapes or other wounds, even broken bones. When they either can’t or won’t explain how these injuries occurred, that could mean they’re too frightened to say what really happened.
You should report any injury to nursing home staff and administrators immediately. As stated earlier, call 911 if you believe your loved one is in danger.
Multiple parties may be liable
There are lots of reasons you’ll need the help of an Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer. One of the biggest is that these cases are very complicated since there could be more than one party responsible for your loved one’s mistreatment. These include the following:
Nurse or caregiver
In most cases, the people who have the most direct access to the nursing home resident are responsible for the abuse. Your loved one’s main nurse or caregiver may be the one at fault. If that’s the case, you may not only be able to take action against the nursing home, but the person abusing the resident could also face criminal charges.
Nursing home facility
The nursing home facility is responsible for everything that happens within its confines. Owners and administrators may have failed to sufficiently research nurses before hiring them and may have been negligent in their supervision. If a resident suffers an injury in a fall, the facility could be held responsible for failure to properly maintain stairs or guardrails, or for any slip and fall accidents that occur due to wet floors.
Third-party device manufacturer
There are some instances where neither a staff member nor the facility played any role in the abuse of a nursing home resident. The resident may have suffered an injury due to a piece of assistive equipment, such as a wheelchair, a walker, or a bed. If this happened to your loved one, you may be able to take action against the company that manufactured the defective equipment.
Third-party trespasser or contractor
The abuse could have been perpetrated by someone who trespassed on the facility’s property or a third-party contractor in the home to perform some work. You may be able to take civil action against the abuser even if they’re facing criminal charges.
How do your attorneys help prove abuse?
Every Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates despises it when the most vulnerable members of society, our elderly, suffer abuse. When you hire our firm, you can rest assured we’ll thoroughly investigate the abuse and determine who’s at fault.
Once the investigation ends, we’ll work tirelessly to make sure all responsible parties pay as much as possible for your loved one’s suffering.
What is the cost of hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer in Aurora?
There are many people who hesitate to speak with an Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer because they assume they can’t afford legal representation. But when you choose an attorney with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, that won’t be a concern.
That’s because we work on a contingency basis. That simply means we won’t receive a penny unless we win your case, and you obtain the compensation you and your loved one deserve. Once that happens, we’ll receive a portion of your settlement or award. You’ll have nothing to lose as a result.
Our Aurora nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to help
Attorneys at our firm are standing by to tell you much more about how we may be able to help. As you learned earlier, we know a lot about these kinds of cases, and we’re passionate about making sure anyone responsible for abuse pays dearly.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation, we urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible. You can use our online contact form or call (800) 985-1819 to speak with a skilled Aurora nursing home abuse lawyer.